FFADO 2.0.1 'Summertime' released

Without further ado, we hereby give you the 2.0.1 release of ffado.

The changelog to the previous 2.0.0 is rather simple:

Make it work on the new firewire-stack.

Of course some more fixes went into the package. But its mostly intended for distributors so they can finally deprecate/disable the old firewire stack in kernels.

For more changelog and instructions please look back at the 2.0.0 release announcement.

Rumors about FFADO and the new firewire stack [Updated May 11th, 2010]

The last weeks have seen a few rumors and lots of questions: Is ffado running with the new firewire stack?

The answer is kind of yes.

What you need is libraw1394 in version 2.0.5 or higher. And kernel 2.6.32 or higher. Then ffado (both the 2.0 branch and development trunk) should be usable on the new juju stack. Thanks to the team of the kernel-stack and some distributions for stepping up and (mostly) fix the kernel and libraw1394 for this. The changes to ffado where quite minimal.

The other answer is still no.

Because ffado still uses libraw1394 as layer between the kernel and its own streaming-/configuration-stuff. Which adds some latency and a lot of uncertainties for the low-latency. There is work going on to implement in-kernel streaming but this is all to early for testing or announcement. And time is sparse...

FFADO 2.0.0 Released!

FFADO 2.0.0 Released!

The FFADO team is proud and happy to announce the release of FFADO 2.0.0. As the release candidates have been around for almost one year now without a significant amount of bug reports we feel confident that the current code-base has matured. Around the end of november the 1000-th device was registered as being used with FFADO, which seemed to be a nice number to triggered the release (aside from the fact that no major bugs have been reported over the last 6 months).

Furthermore on December 2 the Linux kernel version 2.6.32 has been released. This version fixes the new kernel FireWire drivers such that they are compatible with FFADO. So once the distributions pick up this kernel the old/new kernel stack confusion should be history.

Thanks go out to the vendors that provided us with gear to support for the 2.0 release: Echo Digital Audio, Edirol, Ego Systems Inc, Focusrite, Mackie and Terratec. Kudos for their early-bird support!

Special thanks also go to BridgeCo and TC Applied for providing us with their development platforms and for helping with vendor contacts. Their support makes that FFADO covers the most widely used platforms for FireWire audio and that we can quickly implement support for new devices.

Looking ahead to the 2.1 release we can announce that we have implemented (basic) support for additional devices from Focusrite, Behringer, Stanton and TC Electronic. We plan to move to beta-testing 2.1 fairly soon as development on it has been ongoing for more than a year now. Additionally, work is being done on the RME devices, but its not yet known when that will be finished. Support for some other vendors is in the pipeline, so stay tuned for more announcements.

A second major development is the move of the streaming infrastructure to kernel space. A kernel-space implementation will bring significant improvements with respect to reliability and efficiency. Furthermore it will allow to expose an ALSA interface, meaning that the scope of FireWire audio on Linux is extended significantly. Thanks to the Google Summer of Code and the Linux Foundation, work on this has been done during the summer. The code is not yet ready for use, but things are moving.

RME Fireface news

Thanks to assistance from RME we now have Fireface devices and documentation to assist in the development of the FFADO RME driver. Some low-level changes have been flowing into the development trunk for a few weeks now and high-level functionality will follow once the necessary parts are in place. There is no ETA at this stage, but support for RME Fireface devices is on its way.

FFADO 2.0 Release Candidate 2 (1.999.42) available

FFADO 2.0 Release Candidate 2 (1.999.42) available

The FFADO team is happy to announce the release of the second release candidate for FFADO 2.0.

It has been 6 months since we released FFADO 2.0 Release Candidate 1, and we have to admit that this is quite long. The usage statistics show that about 300 people have been using RC1 in this period, and the good news is that we did not get a lot of bug reports. Most of the reports filed were related to crappy host controller hardware (most notably the Ricoh controllers), which is something we unfortunately cannot fix. In the mean time the remaining bug reports have been fixed, so here we are again.

This release candidate contains a few reliability improvements and bugfixes that should get some field testing before we can release the official 2.0. I would therefore like to ask all users and packagers to upgrade as soon as possible such that we can release sooner rather than later. If we get to about 100 registered users without significant significant bug reports I feel confident that we're good to go. So happy testing!

To indicate that we're quite busy even though we don't put out a lot of announcements let me give you a sneak preview of what is under development for post-2.0 ...

Support for additional devices

With our 2.0 release approaching in an albeit slow but steady pace, we are happy to announce some additional devices that will be supported in the future 2.x release.

This week Focusrite provided me with a brand-new Saffire PRO 40 to ensure FFADO compatibility of this device. I should stress that they contacted me, making this device is the first one where the vendor actively seeks FFADO support. Bonus points for Focusrite.

The Saffire PRO 40 uses a DICE chipset for its digital I/O routing. This means that it will be the first fully FFADO supported DICE based device (we still lack the information to address the TC Konnekt mixers). The good news is that we have the DICE streaming code already in place in the development code tree for quite some time now. This makes that the device is already happily streaming on my machine and I can use it for recording.

The bad news is that there is a feature freeze for the 2.0 release, and that DICE support is not in it. The mixer code is also still a work in progress. It will therefore still take a few months before the PRO 40 is on par with the other devices.

Even more bonus points for Focusrite: they provided us with an additional Saffire LE to improve support for this device.

The 2.1 release will most likely also bring support for the Behringer FCA=202. I should also mention their positive attitude: within one week after the first inquiry from my side I had a test device available.

FFADO 2.0 Release Candidate 1 (1.999.40) available

FFADO 2.0 Release Candidate 1 (1.999.40) available

The FFADO team is proud to announce the first release candidate for FFADO 2.0.

This release candidat is intended to collect feedback about the library under wide-spread usage. The code should be free of major bugs. It is recommended that you have a basic amount of experience with Linux and with building software before you try to install this.

We are looking for packagers that are interested in creating packages for their favourite distro.

An elaborate changelog can be found below.

Please review this package thoroughly in order to spot potential problems. Feedback on distribution aspects and documentation is also welcome.

FFADO 2.0 Beta7 (1.999.38) available

FFADO 2.0 Beta7 (1.999.38) available

Life has been catching up with most of the FFADO developers over the last few months. Therefore the activity was rather low. However today we are proud to announce a new beta release. This release mainly improves the mixer applets, increases the reliability of streaming and improves latency performance. An elaborate changelog can be found below.

This beta release is created to collect feedback about the library under common usage. It is expected that there are still some bugs and unresolved system related issues. However the code has proven itself to be usable. It is recommended that you have a basic amount of experience with Linux and with building software before you try to install this.

Please review this package thoroughly in order to spot potential problems. Feedback on distribution aspects and documentation is also welcome.

More experiments... now with a TC Konnekt

As I also have access to the TCAT platform abstraction layer, I was wondering if I could pull off the same trick as with ECHO. Hey, once I start experimenting, it's difficult to stop...

So this is what a day of hacking resulted in:

click here for the full-size version

Notice the metering on the Fabrik C compressor. On my screen they move...

For those that are too enthusiastic, it's important to note that the TC electronic devices are NOT supported in the upcoming 2.0 release. They are only supported in the 2.1 development tree.

Experiments with ECHO AudioFire's

Aside from the 2.0 beta tree, there is also some other work going on... admittedly, it's more fun to work on features than to work on bugs. But hey, the current beta code seems to be pretty good. We're just waiting for a next jack version to be released, such that our users don't have to recompile jack themselves. After that we can go for a large-audience beta. And the associated bug reports... Let's have some fun first!

This is a report on one of the experiments going on for post 2.0. First: the results...

click here for the full-size version

What is this?
Since I got partial source code from ECHO, more specifically the hardware abstraction layer, I realized that I might be able to mimic the ECHO windows driver interface with a Wine "pseudo-driver". The idea would be that one could run the ECHO windows control panels in Wine, and that the pseudo-driver would relay the command & control to the FFADO driver. And so I was off for quite some days of Wine degustation. I can honestly say that using the Windows API is not a pleasant journey...

But as you can see, in the end it seems to be working fine. The setup shown on the screenshot is one with an AudioFire2 and an AudioFire8 connected to FFADO. Then the ECHO control panel was launched through my customized Wine. The panels are fully functional. Except for the metering, for one reason or the other that doesn't work. The data is passed on to the control panel as far as I can tell, but it doesn't update the meters.

Before you start asking... this stuff is not publicly available yet. There are several issues to be resolved first. Amongst these are:

  • Getting my Wine core modifications into the Wine source tree
  • Figure out how to compile the Wine pseudo-driver from outside the Wine tree (since it's not going to be accepted into their trunk anyway).
  • Sort out the legal issues. To build this prototype I used some code and headers from ECHO (unlike in FFADO itself). This means that I either have to remove that code or get official permission from ECHO to open-source it.
  • Merge the most recent FFADO with my local experimental branch, since they have diverged quite a lot over the last months.
  • Figure out whether I want full open-source panels with associated maintenance, or this kind meet-in-the-middle where I don't have to care about the GUI's, but have to tolerate some closed source applications.

But nevertheless a preview of what lies after what still has to come. Comments welcome...



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